How can I copy a table, or selection of rows or columns in a table, from Arcmap without going through the pointy-clicky-typey exercise of Export table? The destination of said copy could be anything: notepad, excel, word, whatever.

The existing context menu only allows copying the value for a single cell and using the keyboard [Ctrl-C] also just copies a single cell value:

context menu expanded to showing copy cell value

I'm using Arcmap 10.1, but this has been annoying for years, so don't feel the need to restrict your answer to a particular version.

6 Answers 6


Your screen capture shows nicely how to copy current cell value to the clipboard. To copy selected records, right-click on the left-most gray button (where the 'triangle' is shown in your screen capture) and choose Copy Selected. Note: keyboard shortcut for both is Ctrl + Shift + C.

  • beautiful! Now, how long has that been there and I didn't know?? (too bad it doesn't work for columns too). Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 19:12
  • 2
    I know what you mean about copying columns! It takes a few more clicks but once you hide all fields you don't want (usually through Layer Properties > Fields tab), select all rows, and then use the Copy Selected command (typically much faster to just delete the columns you don't want in an Excel spreadsheet or Word table format).
    – ccn
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 19:17
  • 4
    The full list is here - resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//… over 120 shortcuts have been added since ArcGIS 8.3 - Also depending on what mode (table edit) you are in.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 19:52

This is one of those annoyingly simple but obscure software things. If you just right click on the grey boxes over on the left of the attribute table and select "copy selected" there, you will get the whole tuple, not just the field your mouse happens to be over. You'll be able to paste the table as tab separated plain text into whatever application you please.

r-click on grey row heading bars, at left

  • 2
    I accepted @ccn's answer because he was first up and gave the keyboard shortcut. Your contribution with screenshot definitely fleshes out the answer more fully, thanks :) Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 18:44
  • after seeing Brad Nessom's similar answer here, I decided the screenshot could benefit from some more context; so updated. Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:50

This seemingly simple task has been toying with me for years...

I knew to select all, click left grey column,click copy selected to copy all and then paste fields into excel.

What I didn't realize until troubleshooting today (Arc 10.3.1) is that keeping the attribute table open is the only way it works on my system. If I enlarge to full screen and then "X" it out before looking to excel or another program it will not work.

I hope that helps!

  • Mods please ignore the "not an answer" flag. I made a mistake. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 18:52
  • That's very curious, I get the same thing. Guess I never closed the table before pasting until now. When I do close, all Excel receives is the column headings and no records. Thanks for this. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 18:54

Not sure what Kevin mean but I did find another way around..

Select all the rows and columns ( if your highlight shows light blue) Then at the bottom of the Attribute table that has two buttons and one of them says Show selected records. Re-hightlighted again and it should turn yellow hightlight right clicked on your mouse and it should show you Copy selected.

enter image description here

1: I still have to do this to copy the acres and Tfactor to the Data Layout.

This is done in ArcMap 10.1


For Arcmap 9.x this functionality is available from the Table Of Contents but not in the attribute table.

  • select the records, right-click on the layer/table in the TOC, then click on
  • Selection/Copy records for selected features, if it's a feature layer, or
  • Copy records, if it's a table.
  • Paste into whatever other program you like: Notepad, Word, Excel, etc.

Hat tip to Valentina Boycheva in the old Esri Forums.


XTools Pro has many functions, including a simple export to Excel function. XTools isn't a free extension, but the export function works after your evaluation period expires.

  • Thanks for contributing HeyOverThere. Export is built in to Arcmap, though perhaps not with the same proficiency as XTools. However this is off-topic, I specifically asked for a method that doesn't involve exporting. Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 20:47

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